Millions of voters across the United States took to the polls Nov. 6 for the midterm elections. The United States midterm elections are held every four years around the midpoint of the President’s term. These midterms saw 35 out of 100 senators up for reelection, all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 36 gubernatorial elections.
The Republicans and Democrats experienced mixed results. Previously, there was a Republican majority in Congress: House Republicans held 236 seats to the Democrat’s 193 seats, but the Democrats picked up 27 seats this election, leading to a Democratic majority in the House.
However, Republicans kept the majority in the Senate and still control 51 seats. Several seats are still undeclared in both the House and the Senate, and both sides are claiming victory: Democrats believe they were victorious after gaining control of the House, but Republicans are emphasizing their win in the Senate. In the gubernatorial elections, Democrats gained 7 seats, and Republicans lost 6 seats.
During this election, President Trump influenced many people’s votes. According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in September, 60 percent of voters said that President Trump was a factor in their decision for their congressional vote. 37 percent of voters believed their ballot in the midterm elections was a vote against Trump, while another 23 percent say their vote was in support of Trump.
Democrats experienced huge successes in the House and in state legislatures. Though the President’s political party often loses support in midterm elections because voters want to see a change, the change in this election was even more significant in state legislatures, and has even been called a blue wave. The President appears to have influenced this blue wave by causing many voters to vote for Democratic candidates (against Trump’s political party). Generally, in states where Trump’s approval rating had decreased, Democrats gained more seats.
This election marked the highest voter turnout for a midterm election since 1966, with more than 47 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot. This is less than half of the population and therefore doesn’t seem like a huge accomplishment, but voter turnout is much lower in midterm elections than in Presidential elections, and this midterm had a higher voter turnout than many.
Overall, many voters showed up for the 2018 midterm elections, which signaled a victory for many Democrats hoping to gain control in Congress after the first two years of Trump’s presidency, though both sides believe they were successful.